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the people I knew who were not Jewish, and I probably did not get to
know non-Jews until I really went to college, or those that I came
across while playing basketball. Incidentally, one of the guys who
played basketball with us, he was in my brother Henry's class, but his
older brother played with us. That was Red Auerbach. Red Auerbach's
brother, Davie, was on the high school team with me, and Red was
then a freshman, but we knew Red Auerbach at that time, but he was
just a basketball player.
He wasn't the general manager of the Celtics then.
Not really, no. No. But he was not a great basketball player
at that time.
Was he a shrewd guy?
No. Compared to what? Yeah.
Did you go outside of what really amounted to a ghetto, in a
certain sense, very much? Did you go to downtown Brooklyn? Did
you go to Manhattan? Did you go to Ebbets Field?
Oh, yeah. We went to Ebbets Field. We went to Ebbets Field.
First of all, we'd go with the summer school. There were times where
the summer program could take kids to the game, and it was a big
event. We would go to Ebbets Field. We were avid baseball fans. We
knew averages and everything. As a matter of fact, I remember, it
must have been as a teenager, I got a job -- not a job, it was a sort of
an honor, on Williamsburg Extension, Bridge Plaza, there was some
kind of store. I don't even know what was in there, but they had a
swinging window around which was a scoreboard, and with a ticker
there, you put the scores on in chalk, later on in stencil. Large crowds
stood below, watching the scores, watching the scores.
Not the game; the score.
It was like watching grass grow or ice melt. And the honor to
do it, because you learned the score before they did, see. Or you
could fool them. You'd put up -- like you knew that the inning came in
two for one and three for the other team, or three for the top. You'd
put the two on first and then put up the three, that kind of thing. Also
going to Ebbets Field was a very, very big deal, and to be close to
players, to stand outside and wait for autographs, or see them. These
were people who were much bigger than life. I remember we had in
the summer school playground, we had a guy -- I used to know his
name, I can't remember -- he was like the summer school teacher. He
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